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In the middle of a frustrating episode where Delta email SkyMiles support did exactly the opposite of my request and Diamond line agents said nothing could be done, until I insisted and it could be done, this turd drops into my inbox:
We hope you’re enjoying your complimentary Delta Sky Club® membership, including more than $50 million in recent investments in expanded seating, renovated Clubs in Atlanta, New York-LGA and Los Angeles, the opening of the New York-JFK Terminal 4 flagship Club and The Sky DeckSM at Delta Sky Club in New York-JFK and Atlanta.
Even with these investments, we occasionally hear that overcrowding can be an issue. To maintain the Club’s exclusive atmosphere, we are making the following changes:
- Effective immediately, membership cost is $695 annually. This Executive Membership will continue to allow two complimentary guests.
- For those customers who rarely need guest access, an Individual Membership at the current rate of $450 will be introduced Spring 2014. This membership will allow guest access for $29 per visit.
- Beginning May 1, 2014, all customers who receive complimentary Delta Sky Club access as a benefit of their eligible credit or charge card will no longer receive complimentary guest access. A $29 fee per guest will apply.
Diamond Medallion® members will continue to enjoy complimentary Executive Membership through the 2014 Medallion year. If you qualify for 2015 Diamond Medallion status, you will receive a complimentary Individual Membership beginning March 1, 2015. And, if guest access is a priority, you may upgrade to an Executive Membership as one of your Choice Benefits or by using miles or cash to pay the difference
We hope these changes will provide a more comfortable and productive experience for customers like you. Please visit delta.com/skyclub to learn more.
The patronizing hutzpah is beyond even Delta’s typical. So they are doing this for me so I don’t feel overcrowded? Well, I will be overcrowded in the terminal because I am not paying $29 for pretzels. (Correction: thanks to comments below I see I misinterpreted the change to the Diamond benefit. However, when traveling with my wife, I will still be in the terminal because I will need to coax the lounge dragon into letting her take my spot.)
Delta’s push on customer experience experience has been barely tolerable given the deplorable state of SkyMiles. Complimentary Sky Club access for Diamond Medallions was one of the few areas Delta had a leg up on its primary competitors, and a key justification (or rationalization) for chasing Diamond status, which at 125,000 MQMs is the highest in the US by 25,000.
A big reason I have been considering abandoning my status challenge-earned United Premier 1K status is I like lounge access but do not want to pay for it on United. I value lounge access much more when it is free. Now Delta is literally pushing me out the door.
By the way, I don’t have one, but what happens to the Delta Reserve credit cards?